Books Comic Mania Early Readers Features Genre graphic novel Lifespan of a Reader Middle Grade Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life in Comic Book Format

Voice for Equality!


Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2020 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.

Show Me History! Martin Luther King Jr.: Voice For Equality! (Amazon | Book Depository)

Created by James Buckley Jr. and Youneek Studios
Published by Portable Press (2019)
ISBN: 1684125464 (ISBN13: 9781684125463). Review copy provided by publisher. Book photos taken by me.

This is still a part of the Show Me History! series that I have been reviewing over the past two weeks now, in keeping with our Comic Mania reading theme until the end of the month. This graphic novel biography of MLK is one of my most-liked title from the series. There is still the grating conversation between Lady Liberty (now depicted as African American here) and Uncle Sam, especially when the latter asks the former to rush her storytelling in his impatience, but as a whole, this one seemed less cluttered and confusing than the first two graphic novels I shared here.

MLK grew up in a segregated society, no thanks to Jim Crow laws. He experienced racism as a young boy, and witnessed his father’s dignified response in the face of institutionalized injustice. The quotes from MLK’s speeches that the book creators selected were particularly moving – and resonate even up to the present time.

I also liked seeing how the narrative depicted MLK’s fight as an ongoing struggle. Many people seem to regard transcendent moments such as MLK’s Washington speech as the end point – yet this story demonstrated how the struggle intensified even further in the coming years. Evidently, society (not just American society – I find this to be a universal phenomenon) moves two steps forward only to move five steps back.

I found the image above especially poignant and I love the quote: “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” The message of non-violence has been resisted in so many fronts, even by fellow African Americans of Dr. King – there is justifiable anger that cannot be contained, and impatience over how things are developing – yet, only bold messages of love that ring true, abide in the end.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

1 comment on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life in Comic Book Format

  1. I didn’t know about these, Myra, & imagine many young students will enjoy them rather than a text-heavy bio. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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